This was a reflection offered by Pope Francis at the Christmas Eve Mass he celebrated tonight in St. Peter's.
He said that as we contemplate the manger scene, we are invited to reflect on how well we welcome the tenderness of God.
"Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close?," he asked. "'But I am searching for the Lord' – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me?"
We also should ask ourselves if we have the courage to share that tenderness with those around us, the Pope continued.
"The Christian response cannot be different from God’s response to our smallness. Life must be met with goodness, with meekness. When we realize that God is in love with our smallness, that he made himself small in order to better encounter us, we cannot help but open our hearts to him, and beseech him: 'Lord, help me to be like you, give me the grace of tenderness in the most difficult circumstances of life, give me the grace of closeness in the face of every need, of meekness in every conflict.'"